Upset in Dominical Livens Up Circuito

February 25, 2005

SURPRISINGnearly 200 entrantsand spectators twoweeks ago at the CircuitoNacional de Surf“4 Fechas, 4 Estrellas”event in Playa Dominical,on the southernPacific coast, CocoHernández of Jacóbeat out reigning 2004national championÁlvaro Solanoin the“open” category.Solano, also from Jacó, suffered thedefeat following a season in which hehas taken first place in the open in threeprevious contests to earn the top spot inthe Circuito rankings – a position hemaintains even after the Dominicalloss.According to Antonio Pilurzu, headof the Tico Surf Federation, determiningthe winner once again came downto the last heat and competitive skillapplied by the final four. The Banzaii-sponsoredHernández won the day byremaining patient.“There weren’t too many open wavescoming in the finals, and he caught thelast good wave of the heat, which gavehim the win,” explained Pilurzu. “It’snice to see a new, good surfer have achance to beat Álvaro (Solano). EvenÁlvaro felt that, and said so afterward.”ANOTHER change came in the women’scategory: With 2004 champion LisbethVindas out of town, the field was left openfor Pavones’ Laura Pecoraro to win firstplace, making the yearly race for the top a littlemore exciting.Juan Carlos Naranjo of Jacó took firstplace in juniors, with Limón’s RodrigoFloilano taking first in the boys’ category(see sidebar for full results).AFTER the completion of this fourthdate of the Circuito – and after a major sponsorpulled out at the last minute – organizersmet on the beach to discuss ways to strengthenthe organization’s infrastructure, as wellas garner more support within Costa Rica tobuild the national surf team and promote itsefforts to foster goodwill for the countryaround the world.“The sponsor-surfing relationship is achain reaction,” said Christophe “Kiki”Commarieu, publication director of SURFOSMagazine and a main sponsor of the Circuito.“Not only does each contest in the Circuitoneed to be sponsored, but also, each surferneeds to have either private or sponsored fundsin order to train and travel to the differentbeaches each month, and earn enough pointsfor a ranking that will allow him or her to representCosta Rica outside the country on itsnational team.”DOMINICAL’S Ronny Obandoowns and operates two businesses –Pineapple Surf Shop and Dominical SurfSchool – in order to fund his surfing. Butthis means he’s often working when thecontests take place, and the contestdirectors admit his national rankingwould be higher if he had a proper sponsorthat would allow him time off, andcover the $200 needed for gas, food,lodging and the entry fee needed toattend each contest. Nonetheless, whenRonny can make it to the dates, he doeshis best to bring other surfers such asJosé Montoya.Of 18 sponsors obtained for thisyear’s Circuito, only three are CostaRican. In Dominical, Hotel Roca Verdehosted a reggae party Saturday night forthe competitors and their guests, andowner Mike Witte donated lodging.Other Circuito sponsors include 91.1La Radio, Quiksilver, Jammin’ SurfCamp, Carton, Banzaii, Mango Surf & Skate,Roxy, Cala Luna Hotel & Villas, TamarindoVista Villas, Mohs, Dakine, Fischer Bros.,Shifi Surf Shots, Bevy Media, Jass, Surfos andRed Bull. For more information, visitwww.surfingcr.com.Circuito Results 4 Fechas, 4 EstrellasOPEN1. Coco Hernández2. Álvaro Solano3. Jairo Pérez4. Durby CastilloWOMEN1. Laura Pecoraro2. Meredith Hodges3. Jessica Priddle4. Shelley LimonJUNIOR1. Juan Carlos Naranjo2. Isaac Vega3. Jairo Pérez – Jacó4. Nicolas RuhlowBOYS1. Rodrigo Floilano2. Jairo Pérez3. Jose Calderón4. Ariel AgueroGROMMETS1. Ariel Aguero2. Carlos Alberto Muñoz3. Derek Guitérrez4. Angelo BongmeilLONGBOARD1. Bob Clark2. Brannon Clark3. Sebastian Galves4. Esteban LeitanBOOGIE1. Marlon Sandoval2. Walter Gatgens3. Fernando Artavin4. Ivan Castillo

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